Here’s a fun and delicious way to take your favourite fall-time dessert and make it into a nourishing smoothie! By using actual pumpkin puree and all those amazing pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ground ginger), you not only get a seasonal sub for your usual blended go-to, but you’re also pumping your body with all sorts of extra nutrients we don’t normally see in the usual green-centric sort of mixes. My favourite part of this smoothie is all the immune boosting benefits of the ingredients, which I think we all can agree are very welcome at this time of year.
Best of all, the thick pumpkin puree and coconut cream lend well for that amazing smoothie-bowl consistency. Just add a little more pumpkin puree and/or coconut cream and a little less of the thinner milk additions, and sprinkle it with some your favourite toppings. I personally find sliced apple, walnuts or pecans, pumpkin seeds, black currents and coconut chips or flakes to be a fitting combo for this to-good-to-be-true indulgence.
Pumpkin puree: High in vitamin A, vitamin C, and carotenoids, pumpkins are great for eyesight, skin, and immune health. They’re also loaded with potassium, helping with electrolyte and mineral balance following a workout or heavy sweat-sesh. Pumpkins are also a great source of fibre – a necessary component for healthy digestive function.
Apple: High in fibre, apples are great for digestion and weight management. A heavy dose of quercetin and flavanols also means immune support and cancer fighting potential. Consuming apples has even been linked to Alzheimer prevention thanks to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine found within!
Almond butter and milk: Loaded with antioxidants, vitamin E, and manganese, almonds are great for tissue repair, skin health, and immunity. The magnesium hit also helps with stress management, blood sugar balance, and blood pressure control. Almonds are also a pretty solid source of protein for added satiety and muscle maintenance.
Chia seeds: Boasting a rather ideal balance of essential fatty acids omega 3, 6, and 9’s, chia seeds aid in inflammation regulation and muscle function. They also contain all 8 essential amino acids needed for proper tissue growth and maintenance – some seriously attractive features for all you athletes out there (and everyone really). Even more alluring is that chia seeds are also loaded with magnesium, calcium, and potassium, all of which are needed for muscle contraction, relaxation and electrolyte balance.
Collagen powder: Amongst the many amazing benefits of consuming high quality collagen, the shining glory of this nutrient is its unrivalled ability to repair tissue. Whether reducing symptoms of leaky gut, healing injured or overworked muscles and tendons, or just giving you skin that incredible youthfully glow, collagen is a serious winner in the nutrition world!
Pumpkin seed protein powder: One of my favourite forms of protein powder, a minimally processed pumpkin seed protein powder is a super safe and highly beneficial addition to your power balls and smoothies. In addition to many of the nutritional benefits mentioned for pumpkins in general, pumpkin seeds are also high in iron - a serious pro for any of you athletes out there looking for greater energy and physical output.
Coconut cream/milk: Coconut-based products (oil, cream/milk, flour, chips etc.) in their whole natural form are one of the best immune boosters thanks to their antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. Coconut is also high in antioxidants, and can improve skin and hair. Not only that, but coconut is super-packed with vitamins and minerals (calcium, magnesium etc.) that are integral for bone and teeth health, and the healthy fats diminish blood sugar imbalances while keeping you satiated and energized for longer.
Manuka honey: Regular raw honey is also great, but Manuka honey has 4 times the amount of nutrients. It is high in amino acids, B vitamins (B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid), calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc – all needed for proper immune function. It is also a strong anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and can fight a number of infections. Most importantly, quality versions contain the UMF, or Unique Manuka Factor, in addition to the natural hydrogen peroxide found in regular honey. The UMF properties of Manuka are extremely stable and, unlike the hydrogen peroxide common in most honey, is not easily destroyed by heat, light and enzymes in the body.
Maple syrup: Like raw honey and coconut sugar, pure maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than other sweeteners like cane or refined sugar, meaning is has less of a dangerous effect on your blood sugar regulation. Even more, maple syrup is loaded with a number of beneficial nutrients including 24 different antioxidants, and minerals like zinc, manganese, calcium, potassium and magnesium, which you’ll never find in regular sugar. It’s important to remember that when choosing maple syrup, you’re only getting these benefits in its pure, organic form, and the darker the colour the more nutrient dense it will be.
Cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and ground ginger: Whether you’re enjoying the blood sugar lowering effects of the cinnamon, the immune boosting benefits of the clove and ginger, or the anti-inflammatory nature of the nutmeg, the classic pumpkin spices are a winning combination health-wise!
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ an apple sliced or cubed
- 1 tblsp almond butter
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 scoop pumpkin seed protein powder
- 1 scoop collagen powder (I like the ones from Vital Proteins)
- ¼ cup thick coconut cream
- 1-1 ½ cup coconut milk or almond milk
- 1 tsp manuka honey or pure maple syrup (optional)
- Cinnamon, ground ginger, clove, and nutmeg to taste (I usually do 1/8 tsp clove, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, ¼ - ½ tsp ground ginger, ¼ - ½ tsp cinnamon). You can also add in some turmeric for an added anti-inflammatory kick!
- Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and enjoy!